"Your father doesn't remember me." Steve says into the phone, and it's followed by a moment of silence as Peter struggles to find the right words. "He doesn't remember the arc reactor, which means he won't probably recognize you either. There's... There's a part of his life missing."
"Oh my God. W-what did the doctor say?"
"That it's most likely temporary. Dr Scott didn't tell him anything though, he said it's better if I tell him, to gain his trust again."
"Yeah, but don't just blurt everything out to him."
"I know, Peter. Listen, I know you want to see Tony but-"
"It's fine, I get it."
"Thank you. There's some money on the top drawer of my nightstand, order a pizza for yourself. I'll get something around here for dinner."
After saying goodbye and hanging up, Steve headed back to Tony's room. He stood outside the door for a couple of seconds, took a deep breath and went in. Tony was looking down at the arc reactor, touching it carefully, not sure if he even could.
"Hi." Steve said to announce his presence. Tony looked up and nodded his head, signaling for him to come closer. Steve did and then observed as Tony fumbled with the device on his chest.
"Doctor said to go easy on you, that we know each other. He also said you know what this is."
"Uh, yeah but... Maybe you should just rest for now." Steve tried. He wasn't really sure how to explain the arc reactor without sounding at least a bit crazy.
"Are you kidding me? I don't want to rest! I have a thing embedded on my chest and I have no idea what it is! A doctor comes here, tell me that I have amnesia and decides it's a good idea not to tell what the freaky thing on my chest is! I would like to have some answers!"
Steve sighed. "You have a bunch of technical terms for it but, to put it simply, it works like a magnet. It's keeping you alive."
"Alive?" Tony suddenly stopped touching it and looked up at Steve. "What do you mean?!"
"You, uh. You were the victim of a bombing in Afghanistan. You were heavily injured and woke up in a cave, hooked to a car battery that was keeping the shards of metal from piercing your heart. But then you built the arc reactor." Tony looked confused, so Steve sat down on a chair next to his bed and explained everything in detail.
"You mean to tell me that I built this in a cave, and then I built some sort of iron suit to escape? And it worked?! Are you not mistaking me for a comic book character or something?!"
Steve laughed softly and shook his head. "You have the arc reactor on your chest, isn't that proof enough?"
"I guess." Tony looked back down at the reactor. "Now that I think about it I do remember something about going to Afghanistan. I remember sleeping with this reporter and... I don't know what else." Steve grimaced at that, and even though Tony didn't notice he quickly changed the subject. "I gotta say, you look kinda familiar."
"I- I do?" Steve said, hope making his chest feel warmer.
"Yeah. What's your name?"
"Steve. Steve Rogers."
Tony's eyes narrowed and he looked a bit closer to the man sitting beside him. Suddenly his eyes went wide as if he realized something, he opened his mouth to say something but it took him a moment to actually be able to speak.
"Oh my God. It is you! You're Captain America! I have this picture somewhere of you with my dad! Howard Stark, you remember him, right?"
Steve smiled sadly. He should have known that Tony wouldn't just remember their history together like that. "I know."
"How did this happen? Oh man, my dad would be so happy if he were alive! And how do we know each other?"
"Tony, now I really think you should rest."
"I told you, I don't want to rest!" He sounded angry again. "I lost years of my life! And I don't even know how many!"
"Seven." Steve interrupted, and Tony looked at him with his eyebrows raised. "It's- That was seven years ago."
"Well then I would appreciated if you would be a bit helpful and actually tell me what the fuck have I been doing for the past seven years!"
What was Steve supposed to say? 'You have been fighting aliens and crazy people as Iron Man along with me, a Norse god, a big green guy and two master assassins. Also, we're married and have a son.' was probably not the best approach.
"Listen, you need to calm down. I can't just blurt out a bunch of information for you in a day. I'll help you go through this if you let me, but slowly. I don't want to confuse you even further."
There is a long pause until Tony finally speaks.
"Sure." He says with a shrug, and Steve's heart aches because this is not the Tony he's used to. This is a Tony he never knew, a person who never went through months in captive that slightly changed his perspective over some things, a person who is used to living off building and selling guns but was never involved in any serious war issue. The Tony he know, his Tony would have apologized.
"I'm- I better go now. I'd tell you to rest but you'd just yell at me again, so." Steve turns around and leaves without looking back at Tony. He doesn't know how much of this he is going to take, but he knows that he had enough for a day.